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All About Shavuot!

Here’s your Shavuot Cheat Sheet. Be sure to join us for Shabbat Tots in Nature: Shavuot!

Holiday Name: Shavuot 

  • Means: Feast of Weeks or Pentecost
  • Pronounce it: Shah-vu-oat

What It’s About

Shavuot comes exactly 50 days after the second night of Passover. There is a tradition to start counting the days between Passover and Shavuot, known as “counting the Omer.” The first layer of Shavuot is agricultural, commemorating Israel’s first fruits (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates), which were delivered to the Temple in Jerusalem by farmers in ancient Israel. The second level is spiritual. This day serves as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is one of three pilgrimage festivals celebrated throughout the year. 


Begins Thursday night, May 25, 2023–Saturday night, May 27, 2023

Special Foods 

Get out your Lactaid because Shavuot is dairy heavy with crowd pleasers like cheesecake and blintzes. Since there are Jewish communities around the world you see variations of cheese stuffed dough such as the Kurdish kadeh or Syrian atayef.


Hebrew: “Chag sameach” (Happy holiday!)

Yiddish: “Gut yontif” (Good day)


There are two activities that stand out for Shavuot. It is traditional to stay up all night discussing and learning Jewish texts. Rabbis, teachers, and lay leaders present lectures and people continue into the early morning after which they will pray an early service. The Book of Ruth is also read as it is set during the harvest season. 

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